Glasgow ready to assist Afghans fleeing chaos

Glasgow City Council said it stands ready to assist people from Afghanistan evacuated following chaotic scenes in the country.

Glasgow has already given homes to 62 refugees from Afghanistan since June who have had to flee the Taliban over potential risks to their safety.

The Taliban has now taken control of Afghanistan, and Kabul’s international airport saw terrifying scenes as hundreds of people tried to flee the country on Monday.

The most recently arrived Afghans in Glasgow worked for the UK military – mostly as interpreters.

The staff and their families were in possible danger of reprisals from the Taliban as international troops withdraw.

The arrivals from the country to city during the last few months include 24 children. The families have been given accommodation and resettlement support by Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership.

Councillor Jen Layden, Glasgow’s convener for Equalities and Human Rights, said the city is ready to welcome asylum seekers to the country to assist with humanitarian efforts.

Councillor Layden, SNP, said: “The images we are now seeing of events unfolding in Afghanistan are harrowing. We should all be concerned about the implications of the Taliban takeover of swathes of Afghanistan on human rights abuses and persecution of those they perceive to be their opponents.

“The UK Government has to step up to the plate. They must mobilise an Afghan programme with funding for local authorities and third sector organisations to support, similar to that put in place for fleeing Syrians, and do so immediately. Glasgow is already sheltering 24 Afghan families, and we stand ready to offer whatever additional support we can.”

The UK military workers from Afghanistan who are now living in Glasgow have been granted refugee status. That means they will be allowed to live permanently in the UK.

But the council said asylum seekers would have to apply for Leave to Remain from the Home Office.